Ministry of Water Resources Govt. of India

 

Ground Water Quality in Haryana

Natural Pollution of Groundwater

    Natural ground water quality in an area is related to leaching of chemical constituents by circulating waters.  The probable natural causes of ground water quality deterioration are

Occurrence of high salinity.

High concentration of fluoride.

High concentration of iron.

High concentration of arsenic

Sea water intrusion.

Salinity

    Generally, salinity of groundwater occurring in areas falling under semi-arid and arid agroclimatic zone is moderately to fairly high.  There are number of places in the south of the state where EC values of ground water have been found to be more than 10000 micro siemens per cm making water unpalatable. 

    At some places, such as Farruknagar and Sultanpur, the EC is so high that salt can be manufactured by solar evaporation.  For drinking purposes and for irrigation use, high salinity is one of the major ground water quality problems in these areas.  Districts of Gurgaon, Bhiwani, Rohtak, Kaithal, Mohindergarh, and Sonepat have more than 30% of the ground water with EC above 3000 while EC of ground water in the districts of Karnal, Kurukshetra, Yamunanagar is below 3000.  In other districts, the % of well waters with EC>3000 ranges from 8.3 to 28.9.  Districtwise % wells having EC greater than 3000 are listed in the table below.

High Fluoride

High concentration of fluoride in ground water is common in semi arid region of the state.   A small amount of fluoride in drinking waters has been found beneficial in reducing dental decay.  However, large amounts in drinking waters result in staining of tooth enamel and still larger concentration may lead to crippling skeletal fluorosis.  Criterion for fluoride in drinking waters is formulated on the basis of quantity consumed by the user.    An objective level of 1.0 mg/l fluoride in drinking waters has been fixed as desirable (BIS).  Concentration upto 1.5 mg/l of fluoride in drinking waters has also been permitted in case no other source with objective level of fluoride is available (BIS). 24 percent of wells in Haryana have F- in ground water outside the maximum permissible range of 1.5 mg/l.  Use of such waters for drinking purposes may cause heath hazards. 

In Haryana, small and large parts of almost all districts except districts of Panchkula, Yamunanagar, Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal & Panipat have ground water with medium to high fluoride concentration.  Such waters are not suitable for drinking purposes

High Iron

Water with iron more than 1.0mg/l is not suitable for domestic use, whereas desirable concentration of iron in water for domestic used is below 0.30mg/l.   Water with iron ranging between 0.30 and 1.0mg/l is permitted for use only when there is no other suitable source of water is available.  High concentration of iron in ground water is generally observed in areas of high rainfall, e.g. iron content as high as 20mg/l has been reported in well waters in Assam State.  High concentration of iron in ground water has been attributed to lowering of redox potential due to presence of organic matter at depths.  Central Ground Water Board during 2001 has found iron in ground water, samples, collected from hydrograph stations ranging from nil to 12.96 mg/l.  Majorities of these wells having ground water with iron above 1.0mg/l are located in the districts of Ambala, Yamunanagar, Jind, Sonepat and Hissar of the state.   Wells with high concentration of iron are given the table below. Use of waters with iron contents above 1.0mg/l may cause staining of utensils and clothing. 

 

S No

Districts

Total No. of Samples

Iron mg/l

<0.3

0.3-1.0

>1.0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

Ambala

Bhiwani

Faridabad

Gurgaon

Hissar

Jind

Karnal

Kaithal

Kurukshetra

Mohindergarh

Panchkula

Panipat

Rewari

Rohtak

Sonepat

Sirsa

Yamunanagar

15

28

31

33

56

25

33

14

24

15

8

14

19

32

41

28

19

7

20

16

21

24

11

21

6

9

13

5

8

19

26

26

18

6

 

2

3

10

7

16

8

9

8

8

2

2

2

-

2

10

4

8

 

6

5

5

5

16

6

3

-

7

-

1

4

-

4

5

6

5

 

 High Arsenic

     Problems due to high arsenic in ground water have acquired global attention in the recent in the delta region, but it has also been encountered in the rocky areas of north years. Cases of people suffering from arsenical dermatosis have been reported in several parts of West Bengal. Arsenic in ground water is mainly found in alluvial aquifers Chattisgarh State. Considering its harmful effects on human health, Central Ground Water Board devoted international water year, 2003, towards determination of arsenic in shallow ground waters.  A total of 260 sample water samples was collected from hydrograph stations distributed throughout the state.  Only 4 wells located at Balana in district Ambala, Chorpur and Garhi ka Rajan  in district Karnal and Samain in district Fatehabad have been reported having arsenic more than the permissible level of 0.05mg/l. Location of these wells and the arsenic concentration in mg/l has been marked on the Fluoride distribution map

Groundwater Pollution studies

There are about 8804 medium and large industrial units working in Haryana, bulk of them are concentrated in six cities namely Yamunanagar, Panipat, Sonepat, Gurgaon, and Faridabad. In these areas, Central Ground Water Board has taken up study of quality of ground water vis--vis industrial activities.  Chemical quality of ground water occurring at shallow depths as well as at deeper depths has been evaluated in these industrialized cities.

Ambala city

Ambala City is an important industrial town of Haryana and houses about 200 small and medium scale industries.  The major industries are of metal (127) and food processing (46).  Ground water is heavily exploited for domestic and industrial use.  A study was taken up in the year 2002-03 to assess the status of quality of ground water vis--vis industries.  It is observed that the ground water occurring at shallow depths is alkaline and is of Na-HCO3 type.  Some of the well waters have been found with high NO3 due to contamination with domestic sewage.  The concentration of heavy metals was reported to be low and within permissible levels as per BIS drinking water standards.  However, concentrations exceeding the permissible levels for Fe and Mn have been found at few places in the city.

Panipat City

        Panipat is a major industrial town of Haryana.  Thermal power plant, Sugar mill, National fertilizer and Panipat Oil refinery are some important units located in and around the city.  There are more than 175 handloom and textile units that use large amounts of chemicals for processing and dyeing of the textile. Huge quantity of water is used during the processing and consequently large quantity of waste/effluent.  The shallow ground water in most part of the nearby area has been polluted due to discharge of effluent either in ponds or cesspools or in the Ganda nala flowing through the city.  The pollution of ground water has been inferred on the basis of presence of undesirable yellow colour and heavy metals like Mn, Pb and Fe having concentration exceeding the permissible levels.  At some places saline ground water with objectionable fluoride concentration has also been found in the city.

Gurgaon City

Gurgaon City is a satellite town of NCT Delhi and is an important center of trade and commerce in Haryana State. The town has a number of mechanical, electrical, textile, electroplating and chemical industries.  The waste generated by these units is dumped untreated either on land (nearby depression) or into the city sewage drains.  The city sewage, which also contains toxic industrial effluents, is made to flow in unlined channels for ultimate discharge into watercourses. Disposal of waste effluents in this way can cause pollution of ground water through seepage. 

           The shallow ground water in most part of the city has been found polluted due to sewage contamination as the well waters showed high concentration of nitrate and chloride.  The ground water at deeper depths have much low concentration of these constituents, which indicates that the pollution of ground water is restricted to shallow depths only. 

The shallow ground water has also been found polluted due to industrial effluents as the water contained relatively high concentration of heavy metals such as Cu, Pb, Mn, and Fe.  However, at deeper aquifer the concentration of these elements is low as compared to shallow aquifer.

Faridabad Ballabgarh area

Faridabad and Ballabgarh are major industrial towns and there are about 1500 registered factories housed in these towns, some of them generate hazardous waste.  The waste form industries engaged in electroplating works, manufacture of textile, fertilizer, plastic etc., are normally rich in toxic trace metals.  Besides, industrial effluent, discharge of untreated sewage in the roadside unlined channels may pollute the ground water due to seepage (line source). 

The study revealed that the pollution of shallow ground water has occurred because high concentration of fluoride, chloride, nitrate, sulphate has been found in most part of the towns.  The main source of these ions (pollutants) in ground water is attributed to contamination of ground water with domestic sewage.  Concentration of heavy metals in shallow ground water of the area has also been found due to pollution of ground water through discharge of industrial effluents on the surface.  The deterioration in quality of shallow ground water is more as compared to quality of ground water at deeper depths.

Panchkula City

Panchkula City is a fast developing township and is located about 5 kilometer SE of Chandigarh.  The study carried out 2002 has revealed that ground water quality is fresh and all the essential chemical constituents have concentration within permissible levels of concentration prescribed in drinking water standards set by Bureau of Indian Standards.  Pollution of ground water has not been observed in the area. 

Yamunanagar City

In Haryana, there are Sugar mills with attached distilleries at Yamunanagar, Panipat and Rohtak. It is reported that soils in the nearby areas have deteriorated, have turned acidic, due to continuous release of spentwash on the soil during irrigation and mud in the fields by these units. Ground water at shallow depth at several places has got contaminated. It has turned light yellow in color and has become unfit for human consumption.

To observe the magnitude of pollution of ground water and, Central Ground Water Board, Chandigarh has undertaken a study in Yamunanagar City during 2002-03.  The conclusion of the findings is not known as the processing of the data is under progress.

Pollution due to Bio-medical waste

Though waste from hospital and nursing homes are required to be collected separately but, in most cities and towns in the state, such waste form a part of municipal solid waste.  The waste is normally dumped in the low-lying areas for natural decomposition. During rainy season, the waste emits foul smell and becomes a potential breeding ground for flies, mosquitoes and other insects.  These macro organisms are responsible for spread diseases.  Further, the rainwater carries downwards the bacterially decomposed soluble material to the ground water.  Bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms, some of them may be pathogens, also move down to meet the ground water.  No systematic study linking ground water pollution due to decomposed medicinal waste has been carried out so far.

Abatement and Prevention

     It is well said that prevention is better than cure.  In case of ground water, prevention is the best because cure for pollution of ground water is not easy.  The pollution of ground water can be prevented through scientific procedures for treatment and disposal of industrial and/or sewage waste. Quality of the waste effluent should be regularly monitored to assess type and extent of treatment required prior to disposal to avoid pollution of ground water.  Pollution of ground water can also be prevented by

1.

The use of corrosion resistant material for the hand pump. Dug well should be kept covered and hygienic conditions should be maintained near source of water.

2.

Use of bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides in optimum required amounts rather than chemical compounds. Applying plant nutrients or fertilizers in smaller installments rather than in one installment at a time.

3.

Avoiding over irrigation of crops; it may speedup ground water pollution through seepage of nutrients, pesticides, salts etc. to saturated zone.

4.

Providing proper treatment to industrial effluents before discharge on land surface or in water stream and the quality of the discharge must confirm to effluent standards of the State/Central pollution control boards.